7 Ways to Celebrate the True Meaning of Memorial Day - United Hub

7 ways to celebrate the true meaning of Memorial Day

By Matt Chernov

Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to 1868, when Union Army General John A. Logan placed wreaths on the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers and issued a proclamation calling for a day of national observance for their sacrifice. More than a century later, President Nixon officially declared the last Monday of May as a federal holiday to honor the American soldiers who died serving in the armed forces in all wars. Though many of us celebrate the day with social events like cookouts, barbecues and backyard get-togethers, the true meaning of Memorial Day is much deeper than that. To help you mark the occasion with the respect it deserves, here are seven ways to experience Memorial Day this — and every other — year.

Enjoy a parade

Memorial Day parades offer us a way to join together as a community and honor the brave men and women who've given their lives for the sake of our freedom. Scheduled to take place in the afternoon on May 28, the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. is by far the largest in the country, and includes patriotic marching bands, dazzling floats and a family-friendly atmosphere. In New York City, each of the five boroughs will hold an elaborate Memorial Day parade this year. The biggest one is the Little Neck–Douglaston parade in Queens, and the oldest is Brooklyn's Memorial Day parade, which is about to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

Vietnam Memorial Reflections

Visit a memorial

War memorials are sacred places where we commemorate the courageous men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States. Inscribed chronologically with the names of more than 58,000 American soldiers who gave their lives in service to the country, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. is an unforgettable place to visit on Memorial Day, or any other day for that matter. Likewise, the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, offers visitors a variety of ways to honor the soldiers who fell on Omaha Beach in 1944.

Learn about history

Since Memorial Day is a time when we honor fallen service members throughout our country's entire history, a trip to a U.S. military museum is a terrific way to celebrate the true meaning of the holiday. The National WWII Museum in New Orleans is one of the finest educational facilities of its kind in the world, and will be hosting several Memorial Day events this year, including a performance by the U.S. Marine Corps Band. Other museums worth visiting include the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia, and the U.S. Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, Maryland.

Tombstones below beautiful tree in Arlington National Cemetery

Pay your respects

Bringing flowers to a veterans' cemetery is an important way to honor the soldiers who died fighting for our country. That's why each year on Memorial Day weekend, Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia holds a deeply moving wreath laying ceremony that's open to the public. If you'd like to participate in a similar ceremony at a veterans' cemetery near you, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs webpage offers a complete list of VA national cemeteries in every state, including up-to-date info on Memorial Day ceremonies being held at each of them this year.

Experience a concert

From the glorious sound of “The Star-Spangled Banner," to the classic song “America the Beautiful," music and Memorial Day go hand-in-hand. So, this year, why not celebrate the holiday with a patriotic concert? Chances are there's a local school or a municipal auditorium near you that's hosting a live musical event to mark the occasion. Or better yet, take a trip to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. and enjoy the annual National Memorial Day Concert, which features incredible musical performances, vintage documentary footage and powerful dramatic readings by well-known celebrities. This spectacular concert is broadcast on PBS each year, but the live event is free for the pubic to attend in person.

Fort Sumter, South Carolina

Step into the past

Exploring one of the many historic forts and garrisons located around the country is a fascinating way to pay tribute to the military heroes who helped shape our nation. Fort Verde State Historic Park in Arizona, Fort Sumter National Monument in South Carolina and Fort McHenry (the birthplace of Francis Scott Key's song “The Star-Spangled Banner") in Maryland are all highly recommended public parks that bring history alive on Memorial Day.

Lend a helping hand

Memorial Day is about honoring fallen service members, but that doesn't mean that we can't use the holiday to show our veterans and enlisted men and women how much they mean to us. A great way to do that is by visiting a local veterans' hospital or a nearby VFW post. A simple gift of cookies, cards, poems or flowers might do more to lift the spirits of an aging veteran than you could possibly imagine. Or if you're already planning to host a backyard barbecue this year, try reaching out to the family of someone currently serving in the military overseas and invite them over to share a Memorial Day that you'll never forget.

Getting there

Wherever your Memorial Day travel plans take you, United is there to help. Visit united.com for more info, or use the United app to book your next trip.

United's regional presidents join respective Governor's COVID-19 task force

By Ryan Wilks, May 21, 2020

As a member in the tourism, travel and transportation industries, United offers a unique perspective into the economic and operational effects rippling across the U.S. To advocate United's efforts, and in anticipation of a bright future, New York/New Jersey President Jill Kaplan and California President Janet Lamkin have both been named to their states' respective governor's COVID-19 response task force committees.

A message from Scott Kirby, United’s new CEO

By The Hub team, May 20, 2020


Hello. I'm Scott Kirby, the new CEO of United Airlines. I'm a proud Air Force Academy graduate and have spent my entire career in and around aviation, including the last four years as President of United.

While I had planned for my first communication with you to be about the meaningful investments we were making to the travel experience and our continued growth across the U.S. and expansion to exciting new destinations around the world, today, the situation rendered to us by the COVID-19 pandemic leads me to a different type of message.

First, I graciously and humbly thank you for your business. Now, more than ever, our customers' loyalty is so deeply appreciated by every member of the United family.

As essential workers, the men and women of our airline have been hard at work over the past two months to transport vital medical supplies and critical goods to places that need them most, to provide free travel to healthcare professionals and to help thousands of individuals repatriate to their home countries.

Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus. We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of your mind when making travel decisions. We're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to protect our customers and employees.

We are installing plexiglass in lobby and gate areas, we're using the same equipment used to clean hospitals to disinfect the interiors of our aircraft, all crew and customers on board are required to wear face mask coverings and we're taking the temperature of our employees before they start work.

But at United, we're not stopping there. We're teaming up with experts from Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to set a new standard for cleanliness and healthy flying that we are calling United CleanPlus℠.

Clorox is working closely with us to improve how we disinfect common surfaces and provide our customers with amenities that support a healthy and safe environment.

Physicians and scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, will advise us on new technologies and approaches, assist in training development and create a rigorous quality assurance program. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help us use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep our customers safe.

While we may not know when this pandemic will subside, what we do know is that travel is so deeply woven into the fabric of our global culture. We all desire to visit family, dance at a friend's wedding, hug parents…and see the wonders of this beautiful world. No matter how sharp the picture quality – or how strong the WiFi signal – there's simply no substitute for being there – in person – to collaborate, celebrate, explore. We are confident that travel will return. And when it does, United Airlines will be ready to serve you again in the friendly skies.

Thank you. Be well. And I look forward to seeing you on board.

Making every step of the travel journey safer for you

By United Airlines, April 22, 2020
United Clean Plus | Clorox

We remain passionate about connecting the world safely

United CleanPlus SM is our commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of your journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness. We're teaming up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures, and over the coming months, we'll roll out Clorox products across our U.S. airports, starting in select locations, to help support a healthy and safe environment throughout your travel experience.

At the airport

  • At check-in:

  • 1
    Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
  • 2
    Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • 3
    Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
  • 4
    Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
  • 5
    Introducing touchless check-in for customers with bags
  • At the gate:

  • 6
    Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
  • 7
    Providing hand sanitizer and
    disinfectant wipes
  • 8
    Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • 9
    Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing

On our aircraft

  • 1
    Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
  • 2
    Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 3
    Temporarily removing onboard items like pillows, blankets and inflight magazines
  • 4
    Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
  • 5
    Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • 6
    Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
  • 7
    Applying social distancing to seating procedures when possible, including:
    • Limiting middle seat selection
    • Moving customers seated closely together
    • De-planing in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
  • 8
    Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft, to be completed on all flights by mid-June
  • 9
    Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles

Cleveland Clinic We're working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols for the safety of our employees and customers. Visit Cleveland Clinic's website to learn more about COVID-19.

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